Asymptotic Capacity and Optimal Precoding in MIMO Multi-Hop Relay Networks

Publication Type:

Journal Article


IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Volume 57, Issue 4, p.2050-2069 (2011)


asymptotic capacity, correlated channel, free probability theory, multi-hop relay network, precoding


A multi-hop relaying system is analyzed where data sent by a multi-antenna source is relayed by successive multiantenna relays until it reaches a multi-antenna destination. Assuming correlated fading at each hop, each relay receives a faded version of the signal from the previous level, performs linear precoding and retransmits it to the next level. Using free probability theory and assuming that the noise power at relays—but not at destination— is negligible, the closed-form expression of the asymptotic instantaneous end-to-end mutual information is derived as the number of antennas at all levels grows large. The so-obtained deterministic expression is independent from the channel realizations while depending only on channel statistics. This expression is also shown to be equal to the asymptotic average end-to-end mutual information. The singular vectors of the optimal precoding matrices, maximizing the average mutual information with finite number of antennas at all levels, are also obtained. It turns out that these vectors are aligned to the eigenvectors of the channel correlation matrices. Thus they can be determined using only the channel statistics. As the structure of the singular vectors of the optimal precoders is independent from the system size, it is also optimal in the asymptotic regime.

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